28 March 2015

Currently

I'm on my second flight this morning in route to WV. In a few hours Darren and I will pile into a rental and drive on in to my sister's. This time around none of us were nearly as excited, but I think the excitement is starting to kick in for all of us. I keep getting texts from people in WV wondering when we are going to get there :) 

But in the mean time, I love creeping on people with my iPhone (I've used the canon some today as well, I guess)... Every time I take a picture I mutter under my breath: "creepy creep creeper" ;P

So here are some of my creep shots, and a few others thrown in. 









Can't wait to get out to the slopes!!

-MarLeahJoy 

22 March 2015

Not Your Average Let-Me-Down



I'm pretty in love with my 35mm. 
I've read online that it is known for naturally capturing really vibrant colors. So when I bought the lens I knew that it would really shine during the summer months outdoors.

And hey! It's the third day of spring and I think we're all feeling it just a little bit. 
When you see some of the pictures of our dog, Buster, you'll understand. :P



I just happened to glance inside the garage door that was standing open... and of course I see my car, still in much of a disassembled state. :P




Hehe, he was really feeling it ;)





-MarLeahJoy

15 March 2015

Life Matters





So often we live our day-to-day life and can easily forget that each day we are doing something to affect who we are tomorrow. But not just tomorrow; tomorrow's tomorrow as well.

Recently, I read a little devotional that said we can learn God's will for our life by reading the Bible, praying, and asking for his will in the very little things in life. In certain situations I've caught myself with the attitude of, "Why do I need to worry about asking the Lord if this is in his will…?" 
Part of our message this morning at church was talking about being a child in respect to God being our father, and how we can have the similar carefree peace of a child when we have everything submitted to the Lord. It was brought out that David came to Goliath with assurance that he could kill the man through the power of the Lord only because he had trusted in the Lord for the times he was caring for his sheep. Okay, so if David really relied on the Lord when it came to protecting his sheep…Can the decision to trust the Lord in the little things that I face in my day to day life be anymore silly or scoffed at than to be trusting the Lord to protect my sheep from bears?? Now-days, if we didn't have a gun to kill the bear with, we would just become a massive bodybuilder and kill the bear with our own strength. Right?!?? Jk! But seriously, not many people would even think to ask the Lord to help them kill a bear. That's just something you're supposed to do with a spear or a gun (in respect to time periods)... But trusting in the Lord to protect his sheep was the only way David was able to have the confidence in the Lord to kill Goliath. 
In my life, there are some decisions… (some really big decisions!) that I know I'm going to have to trust the Lord in! At times when I ponder it, I've thought to myself, "How am I even going to know the Lord's will in this situation?"
I've come to this… Sometimes it might be good trust the Lord in the little things that maybe we could easily come up with the "right" decision on our own. 

Anyway, I have been enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon musing over these things in my nice little hammock… ;-)
In fact, the picture I used to put the quote on was one I took of the view directly above me :-)




-MarLeahJoy 




11 March 2015

A Mind Portrait


Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. Proverbs 3:13


This week has been pretty "rushed" spending time with my sister and brother in law who are out visiting. Rushed as in, we stay up late doing things together and I wake up late with really puffy, tired eyes XD Anddd... That means I really don't have much time to spend reading the bible. But this morning I determined to do a little more and I was extremely blessed with this verse in Proverbs. At first I read it and was like "Okay... great! But..." And then it was completely opened up to me in my situation in life. Sometimes it's really easy to get anxious about why it may seem like some things I wish for in life don't work out, etc., etc., Basically this verse tells us that if we get the understanding and the wisdom of how the Lord wants to direct our life, we can be happy wherever we're at, knowing that it was His leadings. Only IF we seek the wisdom of the Lord first.


So those were my musings this morning on our way to the Coleman Theater on my half-work-day :) 

Alyssa and I took two film cameras with Black and White film and both of our DSLRs... and I threw around the flash a little bit, too and got some cool shots. Alyssa knows someone who has their own developing process, so I guess we'll get to see what the film looks like on Friday :)


-MarLeahJoy 


04 March 2015

Not Over Yet


I woke up this morning to the radio listing off one hundred and one schools that were closed. So I peeked out the window, saw the ice/snow/whatever and curled up back in bed.
I really wanted to go explore some conservation areas today, but I guess the parents might not want me driving today. 

But, I guess yesterday was enough excitement :) Darren and I ended up going to Snow Creek up near Kansas City to ski. I think we both felt like it was worth the money and the trip. Darren caught on really good, too after realizing that trying the less-steep slopes really isn't how you learn to ski ;D Going full-throttle is the way to learn for sure! (He even ended up doing some jumps by the end of the day with no problem landing them!)


 I came home from skiing last night though, and my dad had the beetle in the garage (inward groan). D: Lol. The last thing I wanted to do last night was pull the VW engine. We did it though! And got it dropped off to "Red" this morning who will rebuild the values for me. 
Seriously, though. I really don't want to sell the beetle yet, but I'm thinking I might buy a car to go in between driving this VW and the new car that I have my eye on... Hmmm...

-MarLeahJoy





02 March 2015

Snowed in Sunday



To be honest, I was still so bummed about our cancelled trip yesterday that I really wanted do nothing but feel sorry for myself. Everyone was going out to sled though, so I told my pouty face that it might as well just stay inside by itself. The worst that would happen if I went outside is that I might have some fun... Haha! (I'm telling you, I REALLY did not want to go outside at all!)
Sigh :) 
Well, that was a good turning point for my day :)

Just a few snapshots for fun... 



Then adorable little Victor joined me making donuts in the evening... <3




He didn't do half bad... only a few spills that we laughed at. Btw - it was hilarious watching him crack the eggs. I only had to pick out two pieces of eggshells (besides the whole egg shells that he would just drop in there... ;P)



Hehe... yummy ;)


Then he played with water for the next thirty minutes ;D

-MarLeahJoy

28 February 2015

Cancelled



I woke up this morning. 4am. Ready to hop out of bed and get the day going! Like, the only day I've ever woke up and been ready to get on with the day! Ha! 
But the next thing I know, I was reading a text that said our flights were cancelled because our connecting flight in Dallas had too much ice and snow.

Well, I won't even describe how disappointed I felt (and still am feeling). 
We have the trip re-scheduled, but it just can't be the same. :/
Today has just been a really rough day for me all around, but the Lord gave me a part of this song... "Oh the thought that Jesus loves me... So I will let it change and heal me. Let it ease my troubled mind..."
So you know... 
It's gonna be okay :)

And I was half-way consoled in the fact that we had a beautiful snowfall all morning. So I had to go outside a little. And I found my little bug... the one that's been out of commission the last few weeks. Haha, every time we have to fix something on it, I start to really miss driving the thing. I guess that's a good thing right now since I've been tempted with the thoughts of buying a newer car. ;P Nope! I still love the old thing!



I just uploaded a new video to YouTube... and I also realized that I haven't shared my other video on here either. 

The first one is about our little sledding adventures...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FAt6TTIORw

The one I finished today was a long-time idea, that I was finally able to make into a video of a train running over my GoPro. :D 




Annndd... I shared something on IG. Told you! You couldn't trust my words in my previous post.
But, my attitude has really changed about why I'm posting. So... I'll excuse myself for bending the rules ;)

-MarLeahJoy


26 February 2015

Passport


I haven't packed for my skiing trip yet, partially because I got my passport card and book in the mail - so that requires photos. And that means getting out my camera, throwing stuff all around my room to make it look "clean" where I'm taking pictures, and running back and forth between where I'm posing and the back of the camera to check the images. Exhausting, a little ;) But fun :)
btw - I'm really starting to appreciate my off camera flash since I get home from work when there is like no natural lighting. I used to hate the flash, but I'm kinda starting to like it :)


Right now, I'm in quite the quandary though... 
I generally discourage myself from sharing this kind of stuff on my blog, because my feelings are known to change, and then whatever I proclaimed to the world on my blog is suddenly untrue... :P

Anyway, I've felt so many pressures with social media to be some great person. An adventurer, amazing photographer, good with words, and to hang out with cool people... Then to broadcast that all over social media to make everyone else jealous of my "awesome life".
Well, I've already stated in a previous post about the chain reaction of social media sending me (and I'm sure others) into a form of depression because we aren't doing enough awesome things like everyone else is.
But now I have several trips planned out, I have the 35mm lens, I have a GoPro, I have an awesome hammock that hangs between trees, a tent, and access to a lot of cool things like jet skis, sky diving, flying. You know, things are/were starting to look up for me. I even started to plan out my social media posts for different trips and adventures that I would go on... starting with my trip this weekend to West Virginia. 
At last! I was beginning to see potential and I was starting to watch my social media facade shape out in the way I always dreamed it would go.
Except... this week I deleted my instagram app and haven't checked IG since, and I decided I don't want to post anything to facebook. I don't want to follow the pressure to try to find peace with myself by being accepted by people. 
I made this decision after a series of things happened. First of all, I began to see myself just getting way too wrapped up in it, letting it consume all my thoughts and energy. Also, I heard a message Sunday night that I can't even describe because it was that good! And it really spoke to my heart and challenged me to think about what is really important.
Some of my thoughts that I wrote in my journal during the message:
"Jesus didn't seek fame, reputation, or money. If He -- so much greater than we -- sought no recognition, why should we -- so much less than He -- desire to be lifted up in others' minds"

And I decided, if someone doesn't like me making this choice, then they are going to have to just get over it. But more than likely it's just my mind reasoning and telling me that I would be doing a dis-service to others and that people might be upset at me. (Ha! Who am I kidding ;P)
So... the quandary? Well, the issue is that when I started to create this blog post, I found myself thinking, "Ooo... that set of pictures would look great as my facebook cover photo!" "This person would see it, and that person would see it, and so and so would think this about me." 
Yep, the struggle is real.
So real that I already started to question my decision.
But, writing about it today has helped me take a firmer stance.

This doesn't mean that I will stop using my GoPro to make videos, or I won't enjoy myself on adventures (and I certainly won't stop myself from taking adventures), or I won't keep challenging myself in photography. But honestly, I'm not even going to list out on here what online presence/social media I have decided is best for me to avoid... but all I know is that I feel the decision I've made is good. It will be good for me.
And if you feel like this decision is a good step for me, too... then pray for me that I will be strong in it! :)


And, yes, I think I'll leave my passport book and card out to decorate my room, because it makes my heart do a happy little skip every time I see it :)

-MarLeahJoy

16 February 2015

Let's Not Pretend


Okay, so I'll try not to rant, but social media is one of the biggest living lies that we all experience everyday! I just went on a media fast for a week with some other girls and one of the biggest things I learned from it was something I realized after I started to let myself get back on social media when the fast was done. 
Why don't I just start out with a bit of wisdom that I got from my dear cousin many months ago... She said that social media has the effect of depressing you because it only highlights the positive moments in people's lives. Now, grated, sometimes we confess our disappointments, but in general we post pictures of happy times, good memories, and for photographers -- the one good photo out of maybe 20 others. 
After my media fast ended, I didn't even bother to re-download many of my apps that I had deleted... instagram, paper, twitter, snapchat, etc. And to be honest, I was completely happy and didn't miss catching up on other's lives, and I didn't even feel the need to share about mine. It was the most refreshing break I've had in a while. But as soon as I got connected again. I immediately battled depressive thoughts like, "I never do anything cool... I haven't taken any good pictures recently. There's no place I know around here to get such a cool shot like that!" Well, I really had a time with it that night, and even woke up in the morning thinking about it. But God really helped me to realize that I didn't have to be that "perfect" person living a dream life where you ONLY go on adventures... like EVERY DAY! Because it even says in the bible that there is a time and season for everything. There's a time to work, there's a time to take a break away. There's a time to spend more days away and there is a time when your energy and help is needed by other people nearby (like maybe even at home, cleaning the house even!).
And some people seem to have either completely shirked all their duties and they live off of the crumbs of someone else, or they just know how to time their posts to where it always appears like they are out on some perfect vacation or leisure adventure.

And it frustrates me.

Why can't I do this?

To be honest, I've fought these thoughts more than I would like to admit. It's silly, but it's true that social media can so easily fool you to think that someone else's troubled life is the life you have so sought after. And the solution? Well, I'm not going to say that it is to ban all social media. I indeed like sharing my highlights every once in a while, after all. ;) But maybe the solution is in recognizing the problem and having a change of heart. 

Plus, God gave me a song when I woke up that one morning still troubled about my own lame life, that helped to put things in the right perspective. :)


The song that God really gave me was "The Happy People" with "Who but the Christian is happy and free..." But I guess both songs kind of work.


But my main point today is that I'm not going to pretend that my life is perfect. The cold weather actually cancelled the session I was supposed to do Sunday, so I was pretty disappointed and wanted to used my lens somewhere besides my room... so Kiki and I secretly planned to wake up early Saturday morning and go catch a sunrise at the lake because we knew that the rest of the day would be filled with working hard on the house to get it ready for company.

And, no, I'm not going to pretend. It wasn't perfect. I started the timelapse of us driving there and I had it on night mode. Well, those all turned out to be completely over exposed. Whoops! Then the place we walked out to was completely muddy and we had to take off our shoes just to get back in the car. Anyway, we still had a great time.




My little side kick! I'm so glad she's in my life... I'm really not sure what I would do without her.


This man was walking out to a fishing spot and he almost walked right in front of where my GoPro was at capturing the timelapse of the sunrise. I wasn't going to say anything though, but thankfully he was observant enough and kind of stopped and was like, "Ah, you out here taking photos, eh?" and then he walked behind the GoPro. Whew! ;)
But as soon as he walked by I started snapping photos of him and Kiki nearly lost it in giggles... I guess she thought it a little strange to be taking pictures of a complete stranger. Ha ;)



Farewell, Mr. Fisherman...

-MarLeahJoy